In belgium three trade unions would at any one time have one or more representatives in any one company depending on the size of the work force, some specialised trade unions like the railwaymen would represent large special interest groups The TU would have their members and the only moment they would compete for members is when they present candidates in social elections Companies that have no work force representation (becaue of their size) would get visits from TU officials if there are problems to discuss those issues with the management, nothing like " recognizing " the unions would unite to represent the workforce. The national railroad company tried to impose such a system and it isn't working ... if the drivers union isn't invited to talks about issues involving their members.. trains are not running ... as happend nearly 2 dozen times last year


On 09-03-16 14:50, Risker wrote:
Some historical context may be useful here, Gerard.  The reality is that,
while many workplaces aren't unionized in North America, there are also
many workplaces where there is serious competition between two or more
unions to represent the same employees.  In many parts of Canada and the
U.S., the issue of recognition mainly relates to the employer not being
obliged to recognize a specific union that has not received support from
50% or more of the staff; in fact, in some locations employers may only
recognize unions that receive greater than 50% staff support.

It may not be something that is commonly seen in Europe, but I personally
have observed truly shocking behaviour (threats, harassment, shunning in
the workplace, etc.) on the part of trade unions that are competing to
unionize the same employees.  This is more commonplace when two companies
are merging to form a single new company if the employees had different
unions at the predecessor companies.  And in many parts of North America,
we have seen companies shut down unionized branches and expand
non-unionized branches.  Less than 12% of the United States workforce is
unionized; it is not as enculturated in the US as it is in Europe.

None of this has any bearing whatsoever on the Wikimedia Foundation; I have
no doubt it would follow the applicable legislation should the employees
wish to unionize.


On 9 March 2016 at 08:12, Gerard Meijssen <> wrote:

It is a travesty when it is up to an employer to recognise a trade union.
The question is very much what is implied by such a recognition. It may be
cultural but I would consider the WMF seriously flawed when it is not
willing to recognise the right of employees to be organised.

A trade union often provides legal aid when necessary and no way in hell
should a company be allowed to interfere in this.

On 9 March 2016 at 13:06, Andy Mabbett <> wrote:

On 9 March 2016 at 09:50, Derek V.Giroulle <>

Wikimedia UK  does have anything to say about unions  its employees are
to join a union
The issue is not whether anyone "is allowed to join" a trade union;
but whether that trade union is recognised by the employer.

Andy Mabbett

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Kind regards,
*Derek V. Giroulle*
Wikimedia Belgium vzw.
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